Archie Sonic the Hedgehog Issue 157 was the one hundred and fifty-seventh issue of the main Sonic the Hedgehog comic series.
Having spent weeks researching his past, Shadow the Hedgehog heads to Laboratory Zero on a deserted island island abandoned by the Station Square military. He smashes a wall open and heads into the complex, finding a video monitor playing a video recording of Gerald Robotnik and a new version of Metal Sonic standing deactivated nearby. Gerald's recording states that Station Square wished to use his creations for their own purposes, but he decided to use them to avenge Maria Robotnik's death. Shadow is astonished, thinking this means he was created for the purpose of vengeance, when he takes a sucker punch from Metal Sonic.
Startled, Shadow notices an energy blaster nearby. He briefly considers using it before tossing it aside to engage Metal Sonic hand to hand combat, looking for a fun time. Metal Sonic boasts about its superiority to previous models, breaking open a pipe flowing with liquid nitrogen and directing it at the ground below Shadow's feet. The ground beneath his feet crumbles, but he manages to jump away, noticing a high voltage power line nearby. He takes the line and places is exposed end on the pipe, electrocuting Metal Sonic. As Metal falls to the ground, noticing the blaster nearby. Gerald, in the recording, reports that the Eclipse Cannon will soon be ready for activation, and another voice voice tells Gerald that his project will be stopped and he will be executed. As Gerald vows that his vengeance, Metal takes aim at Shadow, who hurls a rock into the blaster's barrel. The explosion knocks both unconscious, and they are then found by Mecha, who is intrigued by Shadow's presence and takes both with her. As she leaves, she muses that Eggman will deal with Metal if he damaged the data he was sent to retrieve.
- "System Shutdown"
Dr. Eggman is woken from his slumber in New Megaopolis by a ceaseless alarm. He grumpily makes his way to the control room and is startled to find a message stating that he will soon experience a system shutdown. Eggman calls upon A.D.A.M. to turn off the alarms and analyze the message. A.D.A.M. reports that he cannot determine the signal's origin. Meanwhile in Knothole, Sonic is up late playing music on his guitar and singing. His mother and father are concerned, realizing that their son's heart aches over Princess Sally. Jules suggests talking to him, but Bernie feels that Sonic and Sally need to work out their problems together.
Back in New Megaopolis, Eggman decides to try and identify his enemy by process of elimination. A.D.A.M. suggests Snively as the most likely candidate, and Eggman suggests that King Max, Princess Sally, or even Knuckles the Echidna are all likely subjects. A.D.A.M. proposes that, by taking preemptive action, the doctor could draw his enemy into the open. Later in the morning, Rosie and Hope are out hanging laundry when they notice an object blocking out the sun. A shadow falls over Knothole and Sonic, immediately recognizing the object in the sky as one of Eggman's ships, is excited for a fight. The ship lands and Eggman himself disembarks. The confused and scared citizens of Knothole are at a loss, with Rotor deciding that they should treat him as a visitor unless he takes hostile action. Elsewhere, Sonic is about to rush out to meet the threat, but is stopped by his mother, who demands that he have some breakfast before he leaves. After a brief discourse, Sonic tells her one of Eggman's ships landed nearby and his mother lets him go with a word of caution.
Sonic opens his front door to find Eggman standing outside with a smile on his face. Sonic attacks, but Eggman flips him over his shoulder. Eggman continues to throw Sonic around and deflect his attacks. Sonic knows Eggman isn't that strong or fast and asks who the imposter really is, finally landing a kick and passing through his foe. Eggman admits that his presence in Knothole is just a hologram, rendered solid by a device that Sonic destroyed with his kick. He then gets down to business, stating that he is here to ensure his own survival. Jules asks why Eggman's bothering his son with his problems, prompting the doctor to make snide remarks about his brother Charles. He refrains from pressing his insults further and explains that he wants Sonic to defeat whoever is menacing him. Jules asks why they would do that, and Eggman claims that he'll restore Jules to normal while also pointing out that it's better to have enemies you know than enemies you don't.
Rotor and Sonic board the ship and head for New Megaopolis, where Eggman welcomes them before receiving another System Shutdown notification. Eggman explains that he believes that his foe revealed itself in part some time ago, with the demonstration of a technology that he no longer thought was possible. They hear a robot approaching, prompting Sonic to accuse Eggman of luring them into a trap. Mecha breaks into the room, hoping to confront Eggman. At Eggman's suggestion, Sonic tries to take her down, tying her up with nearby wires. She easily flings Sonic away, throwing him into Rotor and knocking them both out. Mecha then demands that Eggman pay for his crimes against the Kingdom of Acorn. The doors to the room open, revealing several Metal Sonic Troopers, and Mecha prepares to take down Eggman for her new master.
- Metal Sonic: "I understand now why the previous model didn't survive it's encounter with you! I, on the other hand, was configured to better deal with any contingency...and higher grade sensors enabling me a variety of options -- such as ascertaining that this pipeline carries liquid nitrogen! A most effective means of neutralizing one's opponent -- wouldn't you agree?"
- Rotor: "I suggest we do nothing -- until he either makes trouble or we hear from the king!
- Tails: "Rotor!! But -- But -- We're the Freedom Fighters!!"
- Rotor: "But what?! Apparently he's committed no hostile action --"
- Tails: "He's EVIL!!"
- Rotor: "And until he does, we treat him as we would any visitor!"
- Tails: "ARE YOU NUTS?"
- Shadow learns that he was designed as a weapon by Professor Gerald.
- Shadow and Metal Sonic fight, which results in both being rendered unconscious.
- Mecha collects both Shadow and Metal Sonic, bringing them to Dr. Eggman.
- Dr. Eggman comes under attack from a mysterious foe, who unleashes several Metal Sonic Troopers and takes control of Mecha to combat him.
- This issue cover is one of the six in the main Sonic comic series to not feature Sonic in the main cover art, the others being StH: #15, #146, #190, #210, and #240. (Sonic always appears on the covers in some form, be it an icon, corner box or an alternate version of himself.)
- Shadow's pose on the cover mirrors one of his poses from the promotional art for Shadow the Hedgehog, as a means of "celebrating" his new game. As Archie barred depictions of realistic-looking guns, the weapon as it appears in the game art was omitted.
- This issue's first story went unnamed.
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